When you miss a call from a number you don’t know, do you call back right away? Making that call could be a big mistake, as you might be the next victim of the “one-ring” scam.

In this scam, your phone will ring. When you try to pick it up (or even before you have a chance to answer), the caller hangs up. If you’re curious enough to call the number back, you’ll hear music or ads playing and you’ll, unknowingly, be connected to an international caller-paid service or chat number. Depending on how long you stay on the line, you could be billed $19.95 – or more.

Some tips to protect yourself against the one-ring scam:

  1. Don’t call back. If you get a missed call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t call back. It might be a scammer on the other end. Legit callers will leave a message or a text.
  2. Check your phone bill. Each month, carefully check your bill and look for unexpected charges.
  3. Limit your options. Call your service provider to see if you can restrict third-party billing (that’s when other companies or organizations can request payment from you by adding a charge to your telephone bill).

If you’ve been a victim of this scam, report it to your parents or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.


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